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Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introductions to Czech and Slovak cinemas

Czech cinema

The Lumière films were screened in Prague within a few months of their initial showing in Paris in 1895. In 1898, Czech filmmaker Jan Krizenecky produced a handful of short actualities starring comic actor Josef Svab-Malostransky. The first purpose-built cinemas opened in Prague from 1907, and regular film production began from 1910, with an adaptation of the Bedřich Smetana opera Prodana nevesta/The Bartered Bride (Max Urban, 1913). Literary adaptations were also very popular with Czech audiences. The subsequent development of cinema in the Czech Republic is tied to, and congruent with, that of Czechoslovakia (see Slovakia, film in), a nation formed in 1918 of which the Czech Republic formed a part until 1993. In spite of competition from neighbouring Germany, some 40 features had been produced by the late 1930s, with the Barrandov studios in Prague among the most advanced in Europe. Output was largely commercial, with Martin Fric a prolific director, but this was leavened by the more artistic work of Gustav Machatý, whose Erotikon (1929) and its sequel of sorts, Extase/Ecstasy (1933), attracted critical acclaim and an international audience.   ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Czech Republic, film in the. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 16 Aug. 2022

Slovak cinema

The development of cinema in Slovakia in the 20th century is tied to that of Czechoslovakia (see Czech republic, film in the), a nation formed in 1918 of which Slovakia formed a part until 1993. The earliest Slovakian film is usually considered to be Janosik, directed by Jaroslav Siakel and Frantisek Horlivy in 1921. From the 1930s, the studio system in Prague employed Czech and Slovak filmmakers and produced films for audiences across Czechoslovakia. In 1950, a Slovak film studio was completed at Koliba in Bratislava to produce films in Slovakian. Slovak filmmaker Stefan Uher’s Slnko v sieti/Sun in the Net (1962) is considered a key film of the emergent Czech New Wave, and a number of Slovak directors, including Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos, and Peter Solan, were central in that movement. However, any distinction between the two national film industries was not clear at this point, and movement of personnel from one region to another was common.   ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Slovakia, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 16 Aug. 2022

Searching the online catalog

You can use the subject heading below to find resources in the online catalog. The call number range is also included.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book titles

Finding journal articles

Articles and other writings about Czech and Slovakian films can be found in different publications. Our collection does not include any journals which look exclusively at Czech or Slovak films. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles or use the search box at the top of the page.

Selected movie titles

Find more Czech or Slovak films in the online catalog.

Internet resource(s)